Madison’s music scene will get a shot in the arm next month when the popular Gospel Fest hits town on November 10.
Gospel Fest, which has been happening around Madison for fourteen years, gets bigger every year as top entertainers descend on the city to provide top notch music and comedy.
Gospel Fest will be Saturday, November 10th at 7om at High Point Church on Old Sauk Road on Madison’s west side.
Comedian Nikki Carr, Grammy nominated artist Todd Dulaney, local gospel singer Colier McNair, and singer/actor Wess Morgan will be on hand.
Gospel Fest has grown over the years and started out as a way to address a musical void felt in Madison.
“It came about as a way to kind of fill a need,” organizer Clyde Gaines told Madison365. “What I mean by that is top Gospel artists would go to Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee but they never came to Madison. At the same time we didn’t have a Gospel radio station. So we wanted to provide a stopgap and bring those artists to Madison as well as provide a source where people can see an artist they might see on tv or hear on the radio. So that’s how we started.”
Madison still does not have a full-time gospel radio station and Gaines tells Madison365 that is a major reason why it was difficult to get the fest off the ground at first.
“I was looking at some statistics the other day that I wasn’t too pleased about,” Gaines said. “Madison is ranked as one of the least religious cities in the United States. It’s on that list. And so it’s been a little difficult. We don’t have a consistent radio station that plays gospel. So you’re not gonna get the same impact as if you did.”
But, Gaines said, Madison’s Gospel Fest had grown a large following through its longevity.
“One of the main things is it’s the idea of bringing in different ethnicities, age groups and races together to enjoy the encouragement and uplifting message Gospel music provides. We tend to have a local artist or two each year. So it also provides a venue for local artists to use as a springboard. We’re excited. It’s become a main event, especially in the black community.”
Colier McNair has a new album out called “Intimacy” and McNair is the pastor of a local church, Zion City, here in Madison.
Tickets will be $30 in advance and $39 at the door.
“We bring in all of the major acts,” Gaines told Madison365. “We’ve had practically all the major gospel artists come through Madison. At the same time, we’ve developed a growing base of people in Madison and Milwaukee and Beloit who come to anticipate our Fall Gospel Fest every year.”